Today's weather looked much like yesterday's with light winds aloft and a fairly stable airmass. We still built a big task since yesterday's flying was better than anticipated.
A 80K task was called from Hill 49917 to Squaw Valley then down valley again to Eckert Field in Strathmore (about 12 miles South of yesterday's goal.)
The pre-start gaggling was desperate. We were clinging to the ridge at 500'over to 500'under launch height. There was much conversation in the thermals as we all attempted to get high enough for a reasonable start that allowed us to get to Hill 49917 high enough to surf up it's face to get the 400 meter cylinder. Once on the way to Squaw valley, the gaggles thinned and the work began to hack away at the 50 mile task.
Squaw Valley had some lift and we worked together to find the best core. Top of lift was around 4000' so we had to climb often and got much lower in the valley than yesterday. It was a scratchfest.
I worked with a few buddies along the way and pushed to keep the lead gaggle in view, but lost them after an hour or so -
My undoing was a ridge with the Cliff waypoint on it. I got up and was waiting for a couple others to get up so we could leave together, when I got hammered with sink. I came in under the others and couldn't connect with the thermal that I had previously topped. I was within 500' of landing when I found a weak thermal that got me just high enough to dive into the lee of the ridge and I was on the ground 15 minutes later. My favorite retrieve driver, Phyl, soon had me in the van and we headed out to find others.
We had 5 in goal today. Quite a feat. I placed 34th for the day and don't know how this will affect my hold on 20th place. We'll see tomorrow.
Unfortunately we had a mid-air (strangely, it was after the start when traffic had thinned out) with a reserve deployment. And another reserve was thrown in an unrelated event. All pilots are OK and planning to fly tomorrow.
Results are HERE.